Monday, September 19, 2016

Early World Cup observations

(Editor's note: The following is from an email exchange Sunday night between Dave Lozo and Sean McIndoe, aka Down Goes Brown.)

Lozo: OK, so now that we've both made bad jokes on Twitter about Green Day canceling shows at the World Cup, I thought I'd email you to see how your Sunday is going. Me? Two fantasy football losses, 2-1 in my picks pool with two games pending, and I want to believe Alex Ovechkin touched that puck at the end of the Sweden game.

Here are my three thoughts about the World Cup so far:

1) Team USA will lose to Canada and their tournament will be over after two games, which cracks me up because the NHL did everything it could to get USA and Canada into the semis.

2) Team Europe is great because they are old, like me, and really stuck it to Torts, another thing I enjoy.

3) This isn't World Cup-related, but I've been crapping like an untrained dog during a thunderstorm, so some of these emails may come from the toilet.

Ps: You know Canada has gold in the bag, right?


DGB: Hi Dave...

Both of my fantasy teams are 0-2, and I don't actually mind because I made a conscious decision at the beginning of the season to just accept that the entire hobby is just dumb, stupid luck and no rational person should care about it. Check back with me next week at 0-3 and find out how that's going.

Oh hey, speaking of dumb and stupid, let's start with Team USA. I haven't understood most of what they're doing all along in this tournament, from hiring Tortorella to the roster selection to benching Dustin Byfuglien on Saturday. They were never going to be the favorites, but they've got enough talent to at least have a shot. But they seem to want to do it with one hand behind their back, all in the name of grit and heart and compete and all of the other buzzwords that badly run hockey teams seem to love.

But all of that said, there's a part of me that could still see them pulling off the upset tomorrow night. They have the goaltending to make it happen, and if they get a bounce or two maybe they can make it happen. It's also possible that they already all hate Tortorella and can't wait to quit as soon as things go bad, but I can see the US winning this one. And besides, the best possible result would be a USA team that bragged about being built to beat Canada doing that, then finishing 1-2 and missing the playoffs anyway.

Am I crazy?


Lozo: Are you crazy? Absolutely. Fantasy football is the greatest thing ever created, as it allows us to fill gaping voids in our lives with legal gambling. This email is sponsored by DraftKings.

I know that as a Canadian, your default setting is to be all, "Oh geez, USA can do this and anything can happen because we Canadians are a humble people and want to take it one game at a time." I call bullshit! Bullshit, I say!

Do we have the goaltending to steal this one? Yes. Will that goaltending be in net? No. Jonathan Quick has squeezed a career out of two great months in 2012 playing behind a dominant 5-on-5 team in the postseason and now because of that and a fluky showing in a 1-0 loss to Canada in Sochi, Americans have deluded themselves into thinking Quick can steal a gold medal. And by Americans, I mean Dean Lombardi, the Kings GM who put together this deficient team.

And beyond that, this USA team isn't good. And yeah, we're not dressing Byfuglien, perhaps our best defenseman, and yeah, we left Phil Kessel, Tyler Johnson, Kevin Shattenkirk and other great players home in the name of grit and Abdelkadering, but how about Patrick Kane only getting 4 minutes in the first period against Europe? Or Max Pacioretty on a third line? Or Max Pacioretty on a fourth line in practice Sunday? Torts is really the crazy one. Jack Johnson is on this team!

The ideal ending to this tournament is Team North America beating Canada in the final on a Jack Eichel penalty shot in overtime, allowing me to claim that as a USA gold.

I did not write this on the toilet.


>> Read the full post at Vice Sports

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